Wednesday, 7 December 2016

A message from the Deputy PrGM

Brethren I have so many thank-yous to make and I haven't opened a single Christmas present yet!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Installation Meeting at The Iron Bridge Lodge on Saturday morning - a huge crowd and a most enjoyable ceremony.  Of course I'm usually at the transmission end of the Address to the Master rather than the receiving end - it was very special for me to have the PrGM presiding and presenting that address.

As Chairman of the 2019 Festival in aid of The Freemasons' Grand Charity may I thank you all for your wonderful generosity over the past two and a half years. You have enabled us to bank £525,000 - over halfway towards our target. To everyone of you who has helped arrange or participated in fund raising events; to everyone who has donated using whatever method; to those who have biked, hiked, cut off your pony tails or eaten curries. Thank you.

And to you all, a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy New Year.

Roger Pemberton

Deputy Provincial Grand Master.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Masonic Dress Code violation???

Oh dear, oh dear...

Following a recent post on "Shropshire Blue" which showed RWBro James Hodgson very informally clothed, another picture has emerged from the same historic South African lodge room with proof that another Brother well known to Shropshire Masonry has been taking liberties with the Masonic dress code.

Surely a fine must be in order???

Thanks to WBro Andrew Symon for dropping WBro David Stott 'in it'...
A message from WBro Clive Jones:

As you are all aware, I attended the Pride of Shropshire awards last Monday night as a finalist in my respective category. It was lovely to be around all these inspirational people - twenty-seven finalists in total - and a wonderful night was had by all.

I never won my category and therefore never won the main prize of Pride of Shropshire 2016. However what I did win tonight was friendship, hope and humility. I was surrounded by twenty-six other champions and unsung heroes from Shropshire. After thousands of entries, we were the lucky and overall champions. However there could only be one winner.

This fell to Carrie Fulcher, an inspirational women who has overcome adversity and devastating injuries to become the woman she is now. What has happened to her hasn’t made her the inspirational women she is today - she has always been that person.

I congratulate Carrie and it truly was a privilege and a pleasure to be with her on her special night.

May I take this opportunity to thank you - and I mean all of you, who have supported me and voted. Sadly it wasn’t to be, but I was beaten by the better person. Thank you all for your support and commitment with everything that either St Mary’s lodge or I am involved with.

May I personally take this opportunity to wish you and your families a pleasant and safe festive season.

The Iron Bridge Lodge Installation

At the recent Installation of 9897, WBro Simon Clare capped a year in which he had visited over 60 times and overseen "14" Ceremonies by installing VWBro Roger Pemberton, DepPrGM as his successor, and the third WM of the Iron Bridge Lodge.

RWBro Peter Taylor presided, and was kept busy as Grand Lodge Certificates were presented to three new Master Masons. A ballot was held in order that two more Initiates might be brought into Freemasonry in February.

Despite the Installation having a formal Festive Board (normal meetings have a buffet and reduced Toast list), the whole meeting lasted just four-and-a-half hours.

The lodge also appointed Bro Ryan Preece, a Fellowcraft, as its Charity Steward. Ryan has already organised an inter-Province bowling event and is the first Secretary of the Shropshire Cornerstone Club.

And as to the significance of the balloon...

Answers on a postcard to Andy Delamere!!

The Ashlar is on the move again!

Seven months ago, The Iron Bridge Lodge no. 9897 relinquished the Shropshire travelling Ashlar to Audley Lodge, No. 1896. Many lodges thought about going to raid the ashlar in the months that passed but none was fruitful.

The "young boys" from TIBL were keen to raid it back immediately but were persuaded to let others have a chance. Eventually last week they could be held back no more and under the organisation of Fellowcraft and Shropshire Cornerstone secretary Bro Ryan Preece, they mounted a successful raid at an Initiation ceremony.

The Iron Bridge Lodge invite all Shropshire lodges to try and raid it from them at a double Initiation on Monday 6th February at 7pm at Meeting Point House. Please book in via

Pictured from left are Bro. Harvey Greatrex, W.Bro. Dave Hedley, Bro. John Watt, W.Bro Andy Delamere, Bro. Ryan Preece, W.Bro. Zed Pazio (WM of Audley Lodge) and W.Bro Ray Dickson.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Advertisements manager required

Following the sad loss recently of WBro Allan Hollick, the Province needs an IT literate Brother with good communication skills, hopefully some relevant experience but certainly the time to devote to managing and promoting advertisements in our Year Book.

Shropshire is proud that through the excellent work which is done to collect and maintain advertisements, our Year Book (unlike those of many other Provinces) is provided free to all members of the Province.

Can you help? Please contact the Provincial Office.

Lewis makes a special night at Round Table

A very special meeting took place at Round Table lodge when WM Shaun Willocks invited WBro Charles Evason to take the Chair to Initiate his elder son Richard. A Freemason who is the son of a Mason is known as a Lewis - in reference to the strong link that such a bond implies.

Richard had taken a gradually increasing interest in where Dad was going to in his dark suit each month, and recently attended a Gentlemens' evening which helped increase that interest. Richard gave a very good response to his Toast, and was welcomed by a good crowd from the lodge as well as some distinguished Visitors - one of who had taught him many years ago at prep. school!

We wish Richard many years of happiness to enjoy his Freemasonry.

The Shropshire Cornerstone Club

Dear Brethren and Friends,

With Christmas fast approaching we thought it may be a nice idea to hold a casual drinks and curry evening on Friday 9th December.

We are planning to start off at The Peach Tree in Shrewsbury followed by a curry in the neighbouring Curry House - the Shalimar. If people are still feeling festive after the curry we will carry on to a few more pubs in Shrewsbury for a few more drinks/cocktails and hopefully an enjoyable evening all round.

If you are interested in joining this evening, please email, there is no fixed fee this is just so I am able to book the table at Shalimar.

Whether it is a jumper, tie, bow tie or full Santa suit, the dress code is Festive!

It would be fantastic to see as many people in attendance as possible, the evening is not to raise money for charity and there is no strict dress code, we are purely setting out to have a light-hearted, fun evening.

Provincial Officers' Dinner

Many of the Brethren who were appointed to Craft and Royal Arch Provincial Rank for the first time in April this year at Harper Adams may not be aware that at the end of each Provincial year, we celebrate and cement the friendships we have made during that year with a dinner which is shared with our wives and partners.

The Provincial Junior Grand Warden and I are anxious that you will miss the opportunity of dining informally with those friends, and so we wish to inform you that the date of the 2016/17 Provincial Officers Dinner will be on Friday 24th March 2017It is anticipated that reception will be at 7.00pm with dinner starting at 7.30pm. Please put this date in your diaries now.

The dinner has been fixed to take place at the Hadley Park House, Hadley Park, Telford, TF1 6QJ. We will be sending out details of the menu with a booking form nearer the date.

In addition, Brethren and Companions, on Saturday 19th November 2016 the PGM/MEGS announced that the Deputy Grand Superintendent, E.Comp John Williamson would be stepping down after 12 years in that office. This dinner would be an ideal opportunity for the Province to show how much we appreciate his enthusiasm, drive, commitment and loyalty to the Province in general and to the Royal Arch in particular.

John Norman, Provincial Senior Grand Warden

Robin Richardson, Provincial Junior Grand Warden

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Who made all the pies???

Getting into the Christmas spirit at Shrewsbury Farmers' Market are some familiar faces - WBro Rodney Stokes of Brownlow Lodge and Bro Stuart Jones of Sabrina with Stuart's sons Charlie and Henry.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

GOLF, GOLF and more GOLF!!!

Come on, you golfers - the Shropshire Masonic Golf Society needs your active participation! Please contact Mike Charles if you are not already on his list, and if you are, please put these dates in your diary and support Shropshire's Masonic golf club! Here is what has been
organised for 2017:

  • SPRING OPEN     12th May     Market Drayton G.C.     This meeting will include the Presentation of the Festival cheque.
  • MATCH v Province of Herefordshire     30th June     Herefordshire G.C.         Some serious bragging rights at stake - book yourself in now!
  • M-FEST MATCH    Monday, 19th June     organised by Mark Ashton of Staffordshire Province. Teams of 12 at King's Norton G.C.
  • TRIANGULAR MATCH  Shrops/Staffs/Cheshire     18th July     the inaugural event for the "Provinces in Brotherhood"     Hawkstone Park
  • MATCH v Province of Worcestershire     10th August      Bromsgrove G.C.     (in 2018 this event will revert to the 2nd Tuesday in August).
  • AUTUMN OPEN     15th September     Ludlow G.C.  
Target price for all events is ~£35 including meal. Please note, Brethren, that the two established inter-Provincial trophies above are currently held by Shropshire - the pride of Shropshire is at stake!

Further details from Mike Charles.

New Chapter appointments announced

At the meeting of Shropshire Installed First Principals' Chapter 6262, three very significant appointments were announced. These will take effect on April 1st, 2017 at the Convocation of Shropshire Provincial Grand Chapter.

E Comp Dave Kettle (top left) will replace E Comp John Williamson as Deputy Grand Superintendent. Dave is well known to everyone in the Province and well beyond as Provincial Secretary/Scribe Ezra, so needs no further introduction. John Williamson is to step down after more than a decade of excellent service to the Holy Royal Arch, and MEGS Peter Taylor spoke in glowing terms of his contribution to the Order.

Peter Taylor also announced the Second and Third Grand Principals for the Province - H is to be E Comp Mike Parry (right), and J E Comp John Hollick (left).

Keith's Fourth Thursday Irregulars

WBro Keith Arscott welcomes any Brother to the next Irregular meeting of this enjoyable Oswestry get-together which follows Cae Glas L of I.

This month's meeting is not at the Simla Restaurant but in Freemasons Hall, Roft Street, Oswestry at 2030h. This meeting features a Fish Supper (Fish, chips, peas and bread roll) for £7. Advance booking not necessary if you are at the L of I - if arriving later contact Keith for details.

Non-Masonic guests all welcome, provided they are accompanied by a 'member'.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance Sunday

In memory of those who laid down their lives, 19 Freemasons representing the Province processed to St Chad's in Shrewsbury, with VWBro Roger Pemberton leading. Elsewhere, many other Brethren paid their respects at a host of similar events.

At Crewe Street the well established service by the restored war memorial outside Freemasons Hall attracted an audience of over 100 people, including relatives of some of the 72 men remembered on the memorial and representatives of the Royal British Legion, in addition, naturally, to many Freemasons.

WBro Rev Phil Niblock led the service, referring to the great loss of life in 1916 and likening it to the falling of millions of leaves. Wreathes were laid, including one by the Provincial Grand Master Peter Taylor, prayers were said and a hymn was sung as well as the National Anthem.

Afterwards refreshments were served inside the building. Thanks are due to the many who look after the memorial and plan the service each year - a group led by WBro David "117" Griffiths, assisted by Shaun Willocks, Garry Breakwell and many more, including their ladies.

Lest we forget...

A poem for Remembrance Sunday, by WBro Clive Jones:

Our fallen Brethren

Those names on the cross or the plaque that you see,
Are the names of the Brethren who died for you, and me.

We wear a poppy to remember them well,
these men who were boys that fatally fell.

As they fall from the sky, those poppies so red
With tears in our eyes, we honour the dead.

                                                     A two minutes silence is all we give
in remembrance, honour and praise.
For those lives that were lost on those worst of days.

                                                      In Flanders, poppies grow that way,
 fed by the blood of the fallen that day.
They fell side by side and alongside each other
Our brave soldiers, our masonic brothers.
 No aprons put on, no hand in a glove
our Brethren, admitted to the Grand Lodge above.

                                                                        Lest we forget.

We will remember them, are the lines we all say,
For those who never returned on those fatal of days.

   As the guns fall silent on the 11th hour, of the 11th day in November.
  It is now on this day 
we will always remember.

Fair warning...

The Province of Shropshire is holding a Christmas Fair on Saturday, 3rd December in the afternoon - from 2 to 6 p.m. - at the Masonic Hall, Crewe Street, Shrewsbury. Any money raised will go towards the 2019 Festival.

Highlights will include a visit by Father Christmas, stalls, games, refreshments, music from the Shrewsbury Brass Band and Prestfelde School Choir. There will be a Fancy Dress competition for children (up to the age of 10) who attend, to be judged at 4 p.m..

Children under the age of 10 are most welcome free of charge, but should be accompanied by an adult. Tickets (£1) and further details are available from Graham Watson of Pengwerne Lodge. His email contact details will be on this page soon - till then, please contact the blogmaster.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

St Milburga approaching milestone

An Initiation Ceremony at St Milburga 1120 shows the lodge to be in good heart with its 150th anniversary meeting just one month away.

The Initiate is Bro. Paul Matthews, who owns a double glazing business. Paul was proposed into Freemasonry by Bro Sunny Patel. His wife's cousin Matt Butts of Idsall Lodge 7133 was also on hand to see him join the Craft. The Ceremony was carried out (in the absence of the WM) by IPM Bob Jenkins.